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Does the EPA regulate noise?  Where are there resources about noise pollution?

Community noise

EPA does not have any regulatory authority governing noise in local communities.  You should consult with your local governmental (e.g., city and county) authorities to see if there are local or state laws that might apply to your situation.  In addition, many states run noise pollution programs. To contact your state environmental agency for more information on their programs and regulations, see http://www.epa.gov/epahome/state.htm

The Noise Pollution Clearinghouse, http://www.nonoise.org  Exit EPA Disclaimer , provides many noise-related resources, including:

You may view more information about noise pollution from EPA's Office of Air and Radiation: http://www.epa.gov/air/noise.html

Other sources of noise

In the past, EPA coordinated all federal noise control activities through its Office of Noise Abatement and Control. In 1981, the Administration at that time concluded that noise issues were best handled at the state or local government level.  As a result, the EPA phased out the office's funding in 1982 as part of a shift in federal noise control policy to transfer the primary responsibility of regulating noise to state and local governments.  The Noise Control Act of 1972 and the Quiet Communities Act of 1978, however, were not rescinded by Congress and remain in effect today, although essentially unfunded.

Note that all federal noise regulations remain in effect, and are enforced by either EPA or a designated federal agency.  These regulations cover standards for transportation equipment, motor carriers, low-noise-emission products, and construction equipment. You can view them at the Government Printing Office Web site at

http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?sid=8b62aa545305455a88fd40506ad10718&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40cfrv24_02.tpl   
(scroll to Subchapter G)

The contact listed below can assist you with issues related to the federal noise regulations.

Catrice Jefferson
Mailing address:
U.S. EPA Headquarters
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N. W.
Ariel Rios Building - Mail Code 6103A
Washington, DC 20460
E-mail: jefferson.catrice@epa.gov

  • Airport noise:  EPA still works on issues related to airport noise.  Please contact one of the EPA individuals above for assistance.
  • Aviation noise:  Information about aircraft or plane noise can be obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration Web site, http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/apl/noise_emissions/  
    In addition, the Federal Interagency Committee on Aviation Noise (FICAN) was formed in 1993 to provide forums for debate over future research needs to better understand, predict and control the effects of aviation noise, and to encourage new technical development efforts in these areas. FICAN:  http://www.fican.org/   Exit EPA Disclaimer
  • Railroad/locomotive horn noise:  The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Web site includes information on the Railroad Noise Emission Compliance Regulations from the Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR 210), http://www.fra.dot.gov/us/content/264
    The FRA Web site also includes information about the 2005 Use of Locomotive Horns Final Rule at http://www.fra.dot.gov/us/content/1318
  • Interstate motor carrier noise:  The Federal Highway Administration's Office of Motor Carrier and Highway Safety Web site includes information on the Interstate Motor Carrier Noise Emission Compliance Regulations from the Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR 325) at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/part/325


 

External Links Disclaimer: Please be aware that links to non-EPA sites do not imply any official EPA endorsement. Furthermore, EPA does not accept any responsibility for the opinions, ideas, data or products presented at those locations, or guarantee the suitability of the information for any specific purpose.

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Topic Information
  • Topic #: 23002-15642
  • Date Created: 11/30/2004
  • Last Modified Since: 8/7/2014
  • Viewed: 13036

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